Infobox Radio Station
name = WMKI
airdate = 1953 as WVDA (frequency once occupied by WNAC)
frequency = 1260 (kHz) HD Radio
format = Children's
erp = 5,000
class = B
owner = Disney/
licensee = Radio Disney Group, LLC
website = [http://radio.disney.go.com/mystation/Boston/ radio.disney.go.com/mystation/Boston/]
callsign_meaning = Disney Character MicKey Mouse
WMKI began broadcasting in 1953 as WVDA, after WNAC purchased the 680 kilohertz frequency of WLAW, moved its programming there, and sold the 1260 frequency. After just four years, the station was sold in 1957 and became WEZE, and began a
beautiful musicformat, branded as "The Wonderful World Of Music", that targeted older listeners. From the late 1950s until the mid 1960s, WEZE was also Boston's NBC Radio affiliate. Although only 5,000 watts, WEZE was one of Boston top-rated radio stations for much of the 1960s, until the beautiful music format made a big splash on the FM dial late in the decade.
During the early 1970s, the station aired a format blending
top 40with some oldies, which was ended in 1975. From 1975 until 1977, WEZE tried "The Wonderful World Of Music" again, but with little success given that beautiful music had pretty much migrated to the FM dial.
In early 1977, WEZE became one of the first statoions to program what might now be called Adult Album Alternative (or at least what would pass for such a format at that time). This format continued until the 1978 sale of the station to New England Continental Media (an ancestor company of
Salem Communications), which instituted a religiousformat.
Initially the religious format consisted of Contemporary Christian Music, Christian features, teaching, and preaching. Music aired about half the day. The station also was and still is a commercial station. By the mid 80's local Christian talk shows replaced some of the hours of weekday music programming. More teaching programs were added to replace other music hours eliminating weekday music totally. From 1984 WEZE only played music on weekends for a few hours.
Salem exercized an option to acquire WBNW 590 in the Fall of 1996, and began a simulcast that resulted in
WEZE's entire intellectual property move to 590 and 1260 become WPZE "Praise 1260" in February 1997. The Praise 1260 format took programs that Salem lacked the time to air on 590 WEZE along with about 6 hours a day of Rhythmic Christian Music. The music consisted of Upbeat praise and worship church music, gospel, and soft AC Christian cuts. However, in July Salem decided to sell the station, and it was sold to Hibernia Broadcasting, who switched the station to Radio Disneyon November 21. (The Praise 1260 format was closed earlier in that fall in preparation for the sale, and reverted to the WEZE simulcast). The station switched to the current WMKI late in December 1999, and was sold in a group deal to ABC, the owner of Radio Disney, in 2000. [cite web|accessdate=October 23|accessyear=2005
title=Archives at BostonRadio.org
work=The Boston Radio Dial: WMKI(AM)]
* [http://radio.disney.go.com/mystation/Boston/ WMKI section of radiodisney.com]
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